Not Avin Dat – D Double E (ft. Donaeo)
He’s back with another banger spouting ridiculous lines over a Donaeo beat. East London’s finest grime MC and one of the most creative MC’s around, D Double E shows us his lyrical brilliance with this tune. With no set release date all we can do is enjoy the quality of the verses and possibly turn down the irritating chorus. Donaeo has a few nice words sung after the chorus but evidently D Double E was always going to steal the limelight with lines like these: ‘No guts got no glory/ got no nuts in your knickerbocker glory’.
In The A – Big Boi (ft. Ludacris and T.I.)
Big tune from three of the biggest Southern names around. A tribute to Atlanta, ‘In The A’ is the latest single from Big Boi’s forthcoming LP Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumours. Big Boi and T.I. put in impressive verses and Ludacris even manages to claw back credibility – ‘Baby’ will not be forgotten easily.
Rollerblades – Kwes
Kwes returns with new single Rollerblades, another dreamy and delicate tune to follow on from his Meantime EP released in April this year. Rollerblades follows Kwes’s general style of structured lo-fi tunes but unravels into atmospheric noise with a minute reamaining to hint at a new direction for the solo producer. The potential debut album will be interesting.
Sorry – T.I. (ft. Andre 3000)
Another tune featuring T.I. and half out OutKast. This is a good song that could easily be split in two – Andre 3000 is in commanding form from three minutes in and steals the show. Heartfelt lyrics delivered in his idiosyncratic drawl really make this a great guest spot. ‘I don’t even like rapping fast/ but that’s how they work’ and ‘why do we try so hard to be stars?/just to dodge comets’ are two of a hatful of amazing lyrics. This is a brilliant apology to the world. I forgive you both.
Gates of Dawn – Night Plane ft. Heather D’Angelo (Wolf + Lamb Remix)
Two of the big boys in percussive house, Soul Clap have seemed set on fading the sub-genre boundaries between dance/funk from the beginning. Earlier this year, the ever burning desire to reach out for fresh talent was belatedly satisfied with the announcement that they had their own label on the cards. Deliberately contrived as they are, you won’t be surprised to hear that they just wanted to create a totally magical “place of mystery, art and experimentation”.
Brooklyn-based producer Night Plane’s Heartbeat EP is Soul Clap Records’ first, substantiated offering. The baby takes the the teasing build-up that defines much of Soul Clap’s sound and gives it a grittier, guitar-driven edge. Wolf + Lamb rework their thrice-revised, central track ‘Gates of Dawn’ for the B-side with a slowed, kickdrum-driven beat, indie guitar riffs and last of all, that unexpected but curiously tinkling triangle. Night Plane’s one-man William Rauscher “grew up listening to rock and indie music in one ear and techno in the other”. The man’s no liar. This is a bizarre marriage of opposing influences.
One thing – Ben Pearce (Made to Move remix)
The voice of Anthony Hamilton reminisces the late hayday of Soul. Pearce’s debut ‘What I Might Do’ prospered as our recognition and nostalgia for the past was evoked with samples from ‘Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens’. Warmed is an otherwise inhabitably cold and dark territory of dance music.
Reworking Pearce’s currently unreleased but potential no.3 ‘One Thing’, Made to Move has me drooling for a little more fuel for fire from the Manchunian producer. A basketball bounce-beat drives the gradual layering of handclap samples and ghostly vocals. It’s brilliantly unsettling throughout: ‘I wanna freak’.
Star Eyes – Flume
Aside from the fact that it sounds disturbingly like ambulance sirens are trailing off in the distance, this track radiates a dream-like nostalgia that you’d expect to have emerged from a collision between Moby and Clams Casino.
At it from the age of 13, Australian Harley Straten toured with the xx last year and has released ‘Star Eyes’ as part of his latest, self-titled album. Listen up: this is the sound of the progressive, Future Classic.By Jonjo Lowe and Joni Roome